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Which island to choose? Adults only...

Everett, Washington
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5 posts
11 reviews
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Which island to choose? Adults only...

I've read the forums started by batboy63 and countingdownSydney (thanks friends!) so have gotten some good ideas there... but there are so many islands/resorts from to which to choose!

My husband and I are looking to book an impromptu trip for the last 2 weeks in June (not flexible on the dates as that is my only available vacation time for that much time). We like the idea of a little bit of island hopping (time for adventures, visiting schools, and learning the culture) and then ending our vacation with a 5-7 night resort stay ($1000 USD/per night, but can be flexible). We want beachfront, white beaches, and no kids (just total relaxation)... but WHERE?

All suggestions appreciated, even if previously posted in the forms mentioned above (so I can better keep track). I'm also interested in any that accommodate to 'last minute' deals as well.

We plan to fly from Seattle to LA then non-stop from LA to Nadi... but obviously appreciate any flight tips as well.

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
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5,548 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Adults only island resorts catering to couples/honeymooners are: LikuLiku, the only resort in Fiji with over the water bures, Tokoriki, Yasawa Island Resort, Matamanoa, Royal Davui, Qamea, and Matangi, our favorite resort in Fiji. Have been there four times.

As strange as it sounds, from the minute you wade ashore, welcomed with singing by the staff, a chilled drink, you will be called by name........arrive as guests, and by the time you depart you will be family.

Matangi has the adventure and culture experience you are looking for.

What we enjoyed most about Matangi was, we could do as much or as little as we liked. Lay by the pool with a good book and drink. Hike around the island. Take a tour to the Bouma Water Falls, Peckham Pearl Farm, and Lavena Coastal Walk on Taveuni. The snorkeling off the beach was the best we have experienced in Fiji.

The private luncheon at Horseshoe Bay, is a must. Very romantic. Nothing like having a private beach all to yourself with a delicious meal, drinks, and fabulous snorkeling.

Every day we snorkeled off the beach in front of our bure. It was breathtaking. Lots of fish, giant clams, blue starfish, and soft, hard and plate coral. The best snorkeling is a way off shore. There is some seagrass close to shore. Didn't bother us. Only took a few minutes to float over and lots of critters hide in it. If you are lucky, might see a seahorse. Being avid snorkelers we also enjoyed the daily scheduled snorkeling tours to the outer reefs in the area in area for a different experience.

The beach is tidal. Meaning you may not be able to walk, swim, or snorkel off the beach 24/7. We always check the tide charts before going to Fiji, to insure we snorkel off the beach mid morning to early afternoon.

The Togo island/village school trip is a must do. Will give insight into the daily life of the Fijian people. Many of the staff are from the village and have family there. It is not required, but take some school supplies: pens, crayons, books, erasers, rulers, etc. They have so very little anything you take will be greatly appreciated more than you know. They children's smiles will melt your hearts.

http://matangiisland.com

June is high season in Fiji and a very popular time to vacation to Fiji. Seriously doubt you get any "last minute" deals for the resorts mentioned. All are very popular resorts, and are often booked months or even a year in advance. Recommend checking the resort's websites for availability for your dates. Some may be already booked, or you may not be able to get the accommodations you want. We usually book six months or more in advance to get the accommodations/resort we want.

Most resorts have stay 7 pay 5, etc. To get the best price, we compare booking a package, airfare/accommodations with a travel agent with those of booking accommodation with resort and our airfare separately. We have found it cheaper to book airfare separately with airline, and accommodations with resort.

The following links have pictures of our vacations to Viwa, Navini, and Matangi. Will give you a comparison of the beach, bures, tours, resort grounds, snorkeling, etc. While the beaches are better at Navini and Viwa were disappointed in snorkeling off the beach.

Navini and Viwa are small resorts. Navini allows children of all ages. There were none during our stay as we went off season, and outside the Australia/New Zealand school holidays. If your dates are during the holidays would expect families with children.

Viwa allows children over 12. Doubt there would be many families with children, if any.

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0439-1408-d5f4…

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-042f-1fde-de34…

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0758-63f0-a16d…

Coming from the states you will need an adapter angled for Australia for charging camera, laptop batteries, etc. We also take a small power strip. Allows us to charge more than one battery at the same time. Drinks at resorts can be pricey. Recommend purchasing alcohol at the duty free shop in Nadi for having drinks in your bure/room. We can't purchase our brand of choice in Fiji, so take the amount of alcohol allowed by customs in our checked luggage.

For other suggestions of what to take with you:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294331-c134773/Fiji:…

It is a long flight from LAX to Nadi. We book economy then have been lucky enough to upgrade to business class at LAX. Have done the same returning Nadi bad to LAX. Seats will go quickly if there is availably. It is important to get in line as soon as the gate opens. Am sure the price has gone up since our last trip. You won't be able to find the price for the upgrade till you arrive at LAX. The gate closes one hour before you flight from LAX departs to Nadi, so don't cut your flight to close. Never fun to spend time in an airport, but allow plenty of time should your flight be late departing Seattle to LAX.

Hope this helps. Don't hesitate to ask, if you have any questions about Matangi or Fiji in general.

Everett, Washington
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5 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

WOW, E&CinReno!! Thanks for taking the time to write out this great info! I will let you know what we end up deciding :)

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
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5,548 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

You're welcome, ErinReoyo. Glad the info was helpful. Am sure you will have an amazing vacation whichever resort you decide on. Look forward to hearing which you chose.

Enjoy the researching. It's half the fun, but can be mind boggling with so many choices. :)

Brisbane...
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8 posts
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4. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Hi there,

Sorry for stealing space from this post but

we are going to Fiji for a weekend only and I was wondering if it's worth getting out to an island or not? Are there boats from Nadi?

Thanks!!

Sara

Madison, Wisconsin
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489 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Check out Qamea and stay in one of the Royal Beach Houses. www.qamea.com

All of the resorts E&C mentioned are incredible, and I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed with any of them. My best advice is to sift through the reviews and check out all of their websites. Submit a few questions to the resorts themselves and get a feel for which resort is speaking to you.

Here is a copy of a previous post I submitted. Sorry for those who have already read it as it is quite the novelette, but I sincerely mean every word of it.

We were married on the beach at Qamea in 2008; and my sister was married at Qamea last year. She doesn’t care for trip advisor (no offense!!) so you won’t hear from her, but she loved Qamea as well.

My husband and I had quite the dilemma when we were choosing a resort special enough for our wedding. We choose Qamea in the end because all their personnel were so excellent in answering all of our many questions in a thorough and prompt manner. And, we simply fell in love with Qamea by viewing their website photos. When we arrived, we found that even the best photography couldn’t totally capture the beauty and essence of this resort. We only had about 48 hours to book our wedding and honeymoon because Hurricane Ike scuttled our year-long planned wedding in the Turks and Caicos the week before. The owner even got involved over the phone to help alleviate all of our concerns about booking such an important event on such short notice. He even offered to help book us into another resort for the first week of our trip (we had two weeks) because Qamea was booked solid. Luckily we were familiar with the resorts and area from planning a previous Fiji dive trip so we at least knew where to start.

The Pool: The main pool at Qamea is beautiful. It is set off from the beach in a secluded area surrounded by lush tropical foliage. We usually dived or snorkeled whenever we wanted to get in the water, so we never used it, but I mention it because it was very nice. The Royal Beach Houses at Qamea have their own private swimming pools as well as private outdoor hot tubs overlooking the ocean.

Accommodations: We stayed in one of the Royal Beach Houses for the first 6 nights of our honeymoon, and then moved to a beachfront bure for our last night. While the Royal Beach House was worth every penny, the standard beachfront bure was fabulous as well. All of Qamea’s bures are decorated in warm Fijian style, and are situated directly on the beach. They all offer many amenities including fully stocked minibars, French press coffee carafes, luxurious linens, heated towel racks and Qamea’s own comfy white robes. Plus they had really cool outdoor showers, outdoor hammocks, and some even have private hot tubs. Seriously, the accommodations were so beautiful and luxurious that we truly felt like rock stars the entire week.

Beach: For me, when planning a tropical vacation, (not mention a wedding and honeymoon) it's all about the beach and the diving. The private beach while not huge, is stunning and definitely "wedding worthy." We had been searching for years for the perfect beach to get married on and Qamea's beach certainly lived up to all our expectations! The beach shrunk a bit during the tides, but it never went completely away. There was never a time that I recall where one couldn't walk on it due to high tide. Qamea has little to no sea grass (which I hate) in the main snorkeling and swimming area directly in front of the resort. I have read some negative reviews about sea grass with some of other resorts mentioned, so you may want to check it out if you plan to snorkel in front of the resort you choose.

Diving and Snorkeling: The diving and snorkeling off the beach right in front of the resort, is World Class. In fact, I think it’s Qamea’s best kept secret. Qamea is more well-known for being a romantic vacation and wedding destination rather than a dive resort, but the diving and snorkeling there are really incredible. By my name Scubajo, you may have figured out that I am very passionate about diving, and I am always looking for my next favorite place to dunk my head and breathe bubbles. Qamea's diving was some of the best diving we have ever done anywhere in the world. Plus, most of Qamea’s popular dive sites are just a very short boat ride away.

Food: Qamea's gourmet offerings were great with lots of choices. If we didn't like what was on the menu, they did their best to accommodate our individual tastes. PLUS: Qamea offers room service!!! It was fabulous to have breakfast served on our patio on our wedding day by our private pool, and twice we ate candlelit dinners under the stars. The real beauty of their room service was, since we were outdoors on the deck, we didn't even have to get up to answer the door! They just came around the back and waited on us like kings (princess in my case.) I’m not sure if the other resorts offer room service.

Spa: Qamea's spa is incredible! It is set up on a ridge surrounded by lush tropical jungle plants including native orchids. You really have to experience it, to believe it. The beautiful singing of the jungle birds made piped-in music unnecessary. The setting and services are so good, I would book a week there just for the spa.

Hiking: Both Qamea and Matangi offer daily trips to nearby Taveuni for incredible hiking to waterfalls. As much as I like to dive, these waterfall hikes are not to be missed!

Village Tours: Visiting the village across the bay from Qamea was one of the many highlights of our trip. If you go, you may consider bringing crayons, pencils, and paper for the kids, and cheap reading glasses (cheaters) for the adults. The Fijians are the warmest people we have ever met in all our travels.

Meke feast: Meke night is very special at Qamea. Ask when it is; you certainly don't want to miss the dancing by the Fijian children and adults from the village.

Price: I suggest you email Qamea directly to check on any unadvertised specials they may be offering. My sister didn’t tell me she was eloping to Qamea until the very last minute before she and her husband got on the plane, but she told me later that they got in on a great package price.

Overall service: Every day we were surprised with something special that Qamea did: These special touches included the little toothless man stringing flowers on our deck early in the morning of our wedding, (it was like waking up on Christmas morning as a kid,) to the dive shop scheduling a special sunrise dive just for us so we could get a dive in and still go to the village to enjoy the Sunday services in the village, (another highlight and I don’t even go to church at home,) to Niko our waiter by night, but bridal escort by day, to William our bartender who took many pictures with our camera during our wedding ceremony to supplement our professional pictures, to our housekeeper coming over and “dressing” my husband in his sarong before church because men wearing shorts is not appropriate attire (still smiling at that one!) to the farewell song that made us cry. There were many more surprises, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the adventure for you.

OK….now I’m going on and on. I’m sure you get my drift. Qamea was a magical place in every way, and will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Happy travels!

Everett, Washington
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5 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Wanted to send a quick update: We booked a 7 night stay at Royal Davui... we are beyond excited, and yes, we splurged quite a bit but are excited for this once in a life time trip!!

This will follow a kayaking and camping guided adventure beginning the day we arrive to Nadi (and lasting for another 5 days before an overnight in Nadi and then transfer to Royal Davui). Can't wait to update following our trip!

Reno, Nv
Destination Expert
for Matangi Island, Fiji
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9 reviews
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7. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Thanks for the update Erin. Congratulations on booking. Now you can countdown the days till you arrive in paradise.

Look forward to reading your reviews when you return home.

Madison, Wisconsin
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489 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

Congratulations! Now you can start packing your bags. Fiji is truly paradise on earth, and the Fijian people are some of the warmest I have ever met. Have a wonderful vacation!

9. Re: Which island to choose? Adults only...

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